Ever turned on a radio station and found a nice song (read Contemporary Christian music) playing and then suddenly frozen while singing the distantly familiar words when you almost reached the end of some stanza? (Well, honestly I sometimes stop at the titles of some of the contemporary songs seeing how sentimental and romanticised most of them have become.) That aside… I couldn’t help laughing when I read of Tony-Allen’s “thorn in the side” moment. I thought such moments only happen to me:
[Tony-Allen:] So a while ago, I was at a worship service, and encountered the song “How He Loves.” As I was singing, I came to an abrupt halt when I encountered a specific lyric in the second verse:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss…
I stopped singing because my jaw literally dropped to the floor at seeing those last words pop on the big screen. “Sloppy wet kiss”? Did someone seriously put “sloppy wet kiss” in the lyrics of a worship song?
People have tried to explain this to me as being a metaphor for God’s love. I’m sorry, but…that’s a horrible metaphor for God’s love. That’s taking the Trinitarian act of redemption for God’s flock which was performed on the cross, then turning it into a rather personal and physical act between a man and a woman. Someone responded to my complaints about this by saying that it’s just the way you view it, and that it can be taken as Jesus coming to earth and being completely intimate (not necessarily romantic) with people here.
Folks…”sloppy wet kisses” are beyond “necessarily romantic”…they’re entirely fleshly. I love my dad, but believe you me, I have never, nor will I ever, give him a “sloppy wet kiss.” I don’t even know that many couples who engage in “sloppy wet kisses.” I shared this lyric with an atheist friend of mine, and even she, who has a boyfriend, was disgusted by it. “Sloppy wet kiss?” she said, “That’s just gross. I don’t even want that in real life.” When you read the words “sloppy wet kiss” there is absolutely no other way to view it.
Interestingly enough, it seems I’m not the only one who had a problem with the song. In the David Crowder version of the song, the lyrics were changed to: And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss. Although some may still not like kissing metaphors in a worship song, “unforeseen kiss” is at least far more appropriate than “sloppy wet kiss.” I would also argue it fits with the metaphor of heaven and earth meeting a little better as well, as “sloppy wet kiss” pictures heaven and earth crashing into one another like two blobs of jello.
In any case, God does not love me like “a sloppy wet kiss.” God loves me like the Good Shepherd who went looking for that lost sheep and gave Himself over to the wolves to be maimed and killed, and did so knowing that He would reign victorious and that the little lost sheep would be restored to the fold. That is how God loves me. That is the Biblical description of how God loves me.
Rightly said, Tony-Allen!